I had butterflies flying to Zamboanga. It shouldn’t be so strange to be meeting your father-side family, but it held a 26-year old strangeness to me. This was a deeply personal trip. Stories upon stories of so many years ago, shaping the lens with which I perceive my history. The intent was to layer real memories and grown-up impressions on top of childhood fiction, and to bridge the past to the present. I worried about being disappointed, too afraid to expect anything.
It started with a phone call. I called Mamang a few days before my flight. She would be excited to see me, they said, but I heavily discounted it. Maybe they were just being nice, easing my worries with kind words. But upon hearing her voice on the phone, I knew the sentiment to be genuine, and fought back tears with a steady tone and paced breaths. I haven’t gone for the trip yet, and I was already on an emotional roller-coaster. Whatever history there was, we acknowledge and make the active decision to move forward. And then, it was there again -- That feather-light feeling of everything falling into place – I was where I needed to be. Doing what I needed to do. Writing chapters of my story that needed to be written.
Snapshots that barely scratch the surface… but hopefully shares some of the beauty I found there.
|Sati, Tausug version of Satay|
|Paying respects with my grandma|
|Doves and gunshots|
|Climbing higher for the free fall...|
|That smile says it all|